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whipsmart

Exported Audio sounds weird/tinny/compressed high end?

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Hi,

I'm using the latest Cakewalk by Bandlab (and a bunch of old Sonar and other VSTs).  I've also searched and read threads about my problem first - but it may be different:

When I listen to my song inside Cakewalk, everything sounds great.  When I export it, the WAV file sounds worse (hard to quantify how much worse - some people might not mind - but i definitely notice it) - it's tinny or weird.  Kind of like the crash cymbals and highhats and high end are being digitally? compressed? or messed up somehow.  It's almost annoying or grating when the high end crashes hit.  Like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.  So to me it's noticeable and seems like an inferior mix.  It's not clipping at the hits (as far as I can tell).

It sounds bad in VLC, Audacity, and DaVinci Resolve (video editor).  When I upload to YouTube and playback on my phone it's still there and annoying, but not as grating.

Not sure what the problem is - I've looked through old threads and seen that people say Windows 10 EQs or messes stuff up with default filters.  I went into the Win 10 sound settings and turned off the Enhancements and that doesn't seem to make a difference as far as I can tell.

I also reloaded the WAV into Cakewalk - and it sounds ok in there in an audio track - which points to the export being OK.  But why if I have Enhancements disabled in the Win 10 Sound settings does the audio sound so annoying on the high end?? 

And if it is just my playback, then why does it sound bad in video format on youtube (rendered via DaVinci resolve) on a different device?  Is Resolve reading the some how secretly filtered audio and then writing that to the .mp4 file I'm uploading to YouTube?

I'm using a super fast Alienware laptop with the stock Realtek ASIO HD Audio output with 16Gb RAM & SSDs and Cakewalk reports it's flying great. 

(Yes I know you don't use onboard audio interfaces, but turns out my old Edirol 10in10out FA-101 is firewire -  which doesn't exist in Win 10 - so I'm still debating an M-Audio 192/6 or Focusrite 4in4out Scarlett, or a Motu-4... But since I'm just using VSTs at the moment  and not recording audio, I figure that should work.

Does it matter that some of these are not routed through busses as I'm just doing some quick & dirty stuff and the mix is good enough in Cakewalk as is.

Sorry for the long post - hope there's enough information for anyone to help or point me in the right direction other than "get a new interface".  Because it sounds awesome inside Cakewalk.  thanks!

 

 

 

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All you have to do is log on to Command center. You can then install most of the plug ins that came with the older versions.  Most have there own installers and activation codes so no need to even install X3. 

You really should have all those backed up anyway as there's  $1,000's worth of stuff well worth keeping safe. When Gibson shut down  most of us made backups of everything including all the serial numbers etc.  All you're Cakewalk products should still be accessible from the old Web site  https://www.cakewalk.com/My-Account

You don't need the disk but you can still use them. Log in and go to My Products. If you can't log in Support here will help you with that still. 

This is a list of all included plug ins- a user created. 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fa9totrruxnlmvq/Sonar_Plugins_3 to X3.xlsx?dl=0

https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=SONAR&language=3&help=Plug-ins.1.html

It is recommended you start with the oldest version and work your way forward. Myself I have never done this and had no issues at all. I just wait till the day I needed something and run the installer for that version  bare bones. Uncheck everything but the one plug in I need. The Software takes up very little room. But the items I mentioned all have separate installers and for me I have back ups of the old Command Center download folder so I just install Command center and before I run it, I copy every thing into that folder. This saves re-downloading the files so is fast.  

Here's the link to the videos-

https://sites.google.com/view/cactus-studios/cakewalk-videos

 

 

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I think I found it.  Turns out besides disabling the Windows 10 Enhancements in the Sound Settings (which did nothing), what I found out, was that there was an additional sound effects system on my laptop in the Alienware Sound Center, for gaming, but that clearly was tweaking the sound to be unpleasant in the high end.  When I disabled that as well, alot of the problems disappeared.  I didn't realize there would be multiple sound enhancements going on. 

 

thanks for your help!

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Posted (edited)

First make sure everything is going through the master bus buy muting it. 

Download Span and look at your spectrum and it will also show you things like peak level and average LUFS levels ( should be around -14) 

Another good tool is the You Lean loudness meter 

In my signature is a link to my tutorials, watch the video on using on board sound 

Edited by John Vere
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Another tool I use that you should have if you had Sonar is the LP Multi Band compressor and the BTBrickwall 

Put these in the effects bin of the Master buss stacked like this 

LP multi band

BT brickwall

Span

Youlean meter 

On the multi band chose the mastering light pre set  this will show you which frequencies are too hot if they show a lot of reduction happening. 
Set the brick wall at -0.8 or whatever you personal preferences are. 
As a note . Your audio playback system makes no changes to an export wave file. Burn a CD or put it on a stick and playback on other devices. At this point try and proof as a Wave file not an MP3 as the encoding software can definitely make a difference with MP  3 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, John Vere said:

Another tool I use that you should have if you had Sonar is the LP Multi Band compressor and the BTBrickwall 

Put these in the effects bin of the Master buss stacked like this 

LP multi band

BT brickwall

Span

Youlean meter 

On the multi band chose the mastering light pre set  this will show you which frequencies are too hot if they show a lot of reduction happening. 
Set the brick wall at -0.8 or whatever you personal preferences are. 
As a note . Your audio playback system makes no changes to an export wave file. Burn a CD or put it on a stick and playback on other devices. At this point try and proof as a Wave file not an MP3 as the encoding software can definitely make a difference with MP  3 

 

 

 

Hi I will definitely try this. 
I am proofing as a wave and the wav sounds fine when reimported back into Cakewalk. Just not in any win app and I think also not in the .mp4 rendered out to youtube. 
 

I have tried the Wav raw on iPhone and it sounds brittle or something too. I have not burnt a cd yet because I don’t really have one. 

I still don’t get why it’s sounds perfect when playback in cakewalk and horrible exported  my settings for wav export seem fine. Is Cakewalk playing back the bus differently than the export is created?

I will try the tools you mentioned. Your sig  is not shown in mobile forums so I’ll check on a computer and watch that video. Thanks!
 

so one thing I don’t know how to do to get some of the tools you mention is install older plugins that came with sonar. I have the discs keys and installers for Sonar X1, X2, & X3 platinum/pro?/the full one. 
 

So they’re not installed on my win 10 laptop but latest cakewalk by Bandlab is. Are the tools you mention with Sonar X3? And if so is it safe to install Sonar X3 after Cakewalk is already in there? Will it screw anything up? I have separate folders for 32bitVSTs & 64bitVSTs and content samples on D drive ssd. 
 

im assuming I can install X3 it installs the plugins then I uninstall X3 and it keeps the plugins and Cakealk by Bandlab gets unharmed by this process? Is that the best way to get all the extra plugins from the old days?

I’ll come back and solve this once I try it out  and confirm  

thanks for your help!

Edited by whipsmart

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Uninstall Cakewalk. Install Sonar. Install Cakewalk. Accept default folders in all cases. CbB will see all the Sonar plugins.

As for sounding different in Cakewalk, Windows may very well use an app for playback the has settings that is messing with the sound.

 

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20 hours ago, Nigel Mackay said:

Uninstall Cakewalk. Install Sonar. Install Cakewalk. Accept default folders in all cases. CbB will see all the Sonar plugins.

As for sounding different in Cakewalk, Windows may very well use an app for playback the has settings that is messing with the sound.

 

Thanks! As for Windows 10 - I went through all the other posts and everyone said to go into Sound Settings Playback and disable Enhancements - which I did but it still sounds bad...??

SoundSettings.thumb.png.708aad8cb3d93b0b2be4202eab291fea.png

17 hours ago, John Vere said:

All you have to do is log on to Command center. You can then install most of the plug ins that came with the older versions.  Most have there own installers and activation codes so no need to even install X3. 

You really should have all those backed up anyway as there's  $1,000's worth of stuff well worth keeping safe. When Gibson shut down  most of us made backups of everything including all the serial numbers etc.  All you're Cakewalk products should still be accessible from the old Web site  https://www.cakewalk.com/My-Account

You don't need the disk but you can still use them. Log in and go to My Products. If you can't log in Support here will help you with that still. 

This is a list of all included plug ins- a user created. 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fa9totrruxnlmvq/Sonar_Plugins_3 to X3.xlsx?dl=0

https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=SONAR&language=3&help=Plug-ins.1.html

It is recommended you start with the oldest version and work your way forward. Myself I have never done this and had no issues at all. I just wait till the day I needed something and run the installer for that version  bare bones. Uncheck everything but the one plug in I need. The Software takes up very little room. But the items I mentioned all have separate installers and for me I have back ups of the old Command Center download folder so I just install Command center and before I run it, I copy every thing into that folder. This saves re-downloading the files so is fast.  

Here's the link to the videos-

https://sites.google.com/view/cactus-studios/cakewalk-videos

 

 

Wow - I mean I have all the installers and my serial numbers - but I didn't even know about Command Center for Cakewalk until your post.  Just searched it and found it.  Don't ever remember getting an email about it - totally missed that.  I'll check it out and your videos and report back - thanks!!

 

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